© 2018 THE LONG ISLAND LITERARY JOURNAL

Two Poems by Jessica Mehta

An Event Worth Celebrating

Run hard (like you mean it)

from a life that’s uneventful,

for it’s events that make a life.

My mother taught me the product

of being afraid. Of staying inside,

of what happens when agoraphobia

snaps you up like wanting pelicans.

It’s quite possible

 

my life is already half over. Is over.

Could end today or maybe

I’ll outlast them all. Each event

folds me over (I’m cake mix

with surprise flour balls and grainy

sugar goodness heading happy

to the blender). Every event

adds another buttercream rose

 

to my icing, an extra pinch

of salt to my insides. Who cares

how hot the oven gets? How many

hungry mouths wait, milk

cups in hand, on the other side?

 

Stack me layer-layer high, add

the sprinkles and fondant pieces.

I’m an event that demands celebration,

a party they’ll talk about (especially

when the drinks kick in)

for years past my sell-by date.

Spring Frenzy

Soon, it will be three, the deadest

of the night. You, in trusting sleep, believe

I’m balled onto my side of the bed. Likely

dreaming of India and grinding

my teeth. You don’t know

I’m here, beneath the alien light

listening to the drunks below

and devastated

that we can never go back. When did it happen?

When did you start falling

asleep first, boiling water for rubber

bottles and shooting Rolaids

like cheap candy? What was the date

when we became happy

with grueling Uno games and dinners

without wine? Where did it go—

all that uncertainty and grabbing ons

of just once mores? We left it behind,
even the burned edges,

like shoes we outgrew or graphic tees

cracked with sweat. So many,

they don’t come out together. They lose

grips in the haunted house, sight

of one another in the mirror mazes. But we,

we held tight. I followed your scent, you

listened for my breath and in the headache

sprouting bright of it all we’ve burst

like spring in frenzy smack into blossom.